American Factories Continue to Shutter

The bad news continues to mount for the nation’s beleaguered manufacturing sector as a myriad of factories, from nearly every corner of the country, announced future closings this month, which will result in the loss of hundreds of well-paying jobs at a time when the unemployment rate is already dangerously close to double-digits.

The biggest loss of the manufacturing sector is in St. Paul, Minnesota, where, despite the best efforts of the Republican Governor and presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty, Ford Motor Company announced the closure of a facility that produces the Ford Ranger.

Pawlenty offered the auto manufacturer a multi-million dollar incentive package full of tax cuts and refunds for job creation to keep the factory up and running.

While the company did not say where the 750 jobs the plant created would be relocated to, the statement issued by the company offered a few clues.

“We appreciate Gov. Pawlenty and Mayor Coleman’s continued support of Ford’s St. Paul operations,” Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, said in a written statement. “Ford continues to concentrate on implementing the plan we initiated four years ago to streamline our plant operations and better leverage our global platforms. At this time, the Twin Cities Assembly Plant does not fit into our global manufacturing strategy.”

The Russell Coil plant, located in Yuma, Arizona, is also set to close, the company announced. The company, which makes commercial and industrial refrigerator products, is set to cut 150 jobs. In a county with an unemployment rate already at 22.8 percent, a major factory closing is the last thing it needs.

In Wisconsin, Fisker Brands Inc. is planning on closing two factories; one in Sauk City and another in Wausou. In all, 116 jobs are set to be lost, most of those in the manufacturing sector.

A company that develops products and services for wireless networks, Aviat, is planning to close a North Carolina factory after losing $130 million in the previous fiscal year. The jobs lost will be relocated to Slovenia and New Zealand.

A direct result of the failed North American Free Trade Agreement, Danfoss Chatleff LLC announced that it is closing a factory in Buda, Texas, only to open another facility in Monterrey, Mexico. In all, 90 jobs will be lost at the company that produces parts for heating, cooling and ventilation systems.

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